Tag:Celtics
Posted on: February 23, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Deron Williams to Nets

The Nets have acquired All-Star point guard Deron Williams from the Jazz for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first-round picks, and cash, the teams announced Wednesday.

In a swift and astonishing comeback from their failed pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, New Jersey also will get Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright from Golden State for Troy Murphy, who will be bought out, sources said. Murphy is considering signing with Boston, Miami or Orlando once his buyout is complete. That separate transaction, with Golden State also getting a 2012 second-round pick from the Nets, is expected to be completed later Wednesday.

The deal, first reported by the Bergen (N.J.) Record and Yahoo! Sports, represents a major coup for Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who lost out to cross-river rival New York in his pursuit of Anthony but arguably gets an even better prize for some of the pieces that were bound for Denver in a deal that was agreed to last week for Anthony. The Knicks acquired Anthony Tuesday for four players and three draft picks in a masssive, three-team, 13-player blockbuster. The Williams-to-New Jersey deal was agreed to Wednesday, hours before Anthony was set to make his debut for the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Williams, arguably the best point guard in the game, had grown disenchanted in Utah, where friction between he and coach Jerry Sloan resulted in the Hall of Fame coach resigning Feb. 11. CBSSports.com reported during All-Star weekend that Williams began planning his exit from Utah last summer, telling associates that if Amar'e Stoudemire wound up signing with the Knicks, Williams wanted to follow him there as a free agent in 2012.

In a chaotic environment that has changed the landscape of the NBA, the Jazz boldly got out in front of the looming soap opera with their superstar, opting to trade him for assets a year before his free agency would become a major issue. By doing so, general manager Kevin O'Connor has taken one of the marquee 2012 free agents off the market and spared his organization the kind of drama and distraction that besieged the Nuggets until Anthony finally was dealt to the Knicks.

As one rival executive noted, the Nets turned the "guts of the Melo deal" into a far superior talent and didn't have to give up as much as Denver was asking for Anthony -- or even as much as the Knicks gave up for him. But in the end, the players and draft picks surrendered on both sides of the Hudson River will be all but forgotten once Williams, Stoudemire and Anthony embark on what will be without question the most heated rivalry the New York area teams have ever had.

And with early indications that Williams is not happy with the trade, the Nets took a calculated risk -- but one that could pay enormous dividends. The Knicks got a player who wanted to join them while Williams will have to be sold. But he'll have the rest of this season and next -- barring a lockout -- to evaluate whether he'll have enough talent with him by the time the team moves to Brooklyn in 2012.

The deal saves the Jazz about $3.6 million in salary and luxury-tax payments, but does not push them under the $70.3 million tax threshold. Given the obvious decision to go in a rebuilding direction, the Jazz could be poised for other deals to clear the remaining $4.9 million they're over the tax. The Jazz get New Jersey's 2011 first-round pick and Golden State's 2012 first-rounder, which also comes from the Nets after being acquired in a previous trade.

The Jazz play in Dallas Wednesday night in the first game of the post-Williams era. New Jersey's next game is Friday night in San Antonio, where it is expected that Williams will make his Nets debut.

With star players aggressively angling for better markets and fellow stars to team up with, following the blueprint set forth first by the Celtics and Lakers and then by Miami's Big Three last summer, the Jazz snuffed out what could've been another long, painful march to free agency for Williams.

During All-Star weekend, Williams danced around the report by CBSSports.com that he hatched an escape plan to New York last summer and proclaimed that he would not be addressing his impending free agency until he made a decision. On Wednesday, about 28 hours before the trade deadline, the decision was made for him. Williams has two years left on his contract after this one, including a player option in 2012-13 -- when the Nets are scheduled to move into their new home in Brooklyn and truly ignite their rivalry with the Knicks.

In so many ways, that rivalry has been smoldering for months as the Knicks and Nets pursued Anthony. It was elevated to five-alarm status Wednesday, with Prokhorov trumping Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan's acquisition of Anthony on the very day the Knicks' new superstar makes his home debut against the Bucks.

Williams isn't eligible for an extension until July 1 -- or whichever comes first, July 1 or the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. By trading him a year before he had the leverage of being able to force his way to the team of his choice -- like Anthony did with the Knicks -- the Jazz not only avoid the drama, but they also get a better deal than one they would've gotten under such duress.

The deal not only represents a short-term victory for the Nets in their battle with the Knicks over superstar talent -- it was 2-0 New York until Wednesday, with Stoudemire and Anthony on board at the Garden -- it also has wide-ranging implications in the chase for 2012 free agents. Will Williams stay in New Jersey, buy into the Brooklyn mystique, and try to topple the Knicks' star tandem of Stoudemire and Anthony by serving as a magnet for future free agents? Will he decline to sign an extension and try to force his way to the Knicks? Does his presence on the Nets virtually assure that fellow star point guard Chris Paul will make his summer wedding toast come true by joining Stoudemire and Anthony in New York in 2012? Whom does Dwight Howard team up with when his free-agent clock starts ticking? The Lakers, Knicks, or Nets?

Only this is for sure: The floodgates pushed ajar by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh last summer have blown wide open.


Posted on: February 10, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Allen breaks Miller's 3-point record

BOSTON -- Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller's career 3-point record Thursday night, hitting his 2,561st with 1:48 left in the first quarter against the Lakers Thursday night.

After tying the mark with 4:14 left in the first, Allen set up on the right wing in transition off a Lakers turnover and received a pass from Rajon Rondo. Allen hit the open 3-pointer and backpedaled down the court as TD Bank Garden erupted in a standing ovation. With Miller sitting courtside as an announcer for TNT, Allen became the NBA's career 3-point king against the Celtics' archrivals in a nationally televised game.

During a stoppage in play, Allen jogged to the broadcast table to embrace Miller, who made 2,560 3-pointers during an 18-year career -- all with the Indiana Pacers. Allen then went to the Celtics' bench and hugged Celtics coach Doc Rivers and assistant coach Lawrence Frank while Rondo shot free throws.

Allen shook hands with his longtime nemesis, Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who offered a wink and a nod. When the quarter ended, with the Celtics leading 27-20, Allen made the rounds again -- embracing his mother and kissing his wife and children, hugging Miller again, and soaking in a raucous ovation as a congratulatory montage was shown on the arena scoreboard.

"I think all of us who play sports want to put ourselves in a position where you can feel that kind of adulation," Allen said before the game, in the moments leading up to his record-breaking moment. "I know why I'm here. it required a lot of blood and sweat."

Standing in front of the Celtics' bench while a highlight film of his biggest shots through the years played during a second-quarter timeout, Allen's typically stoic demeanor finally cracked as he chomped nervously on his customary gum. Before the game, Allen said he wasn't sure how he'd react.

"I don't try to predict my emotions," he said.

Allen, 35, broke the record in his 15th season and 1,074th game; Miller did it over 18 seasons in 1,839 games. Miller said Allen breaking his record was "great for the game of basketball."

"When people ask me, ‘You’ve got to be a little bit upset or bitter,' why?" Miller said. "First of all, all records are made to be broken. I had a conversation with Ray earlier tonight and he was like, ‘When I was a rookie and I came to Market Square Arena and I saw you for three, three and a half hours before (the game) shooting, that’s how I wanted to patent my game.’ I’m just so happy for him because this is one of the best guys. He’s so humble, he’s so giving, he’s a great family man and I’m excited. ... This is great. You know why? We're focusing and talking about shooting. No one talks about shooting anymore.”
Posted on: February 10, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Phil, Doc react to Sloan's departure

BOSTON – Phil Jackson competed against Jerry Sloan as both a player and a coach, and knew him as someone who’d never quit – and whose teams never would, either. 

But Jackson has flirted often with the notion of when is the right time to walk away from coaching, and took Sloan at his word that it was just the “right time.” 

“I think sometimes you hope you can pick the right time, and I think you want to close the chapter on it,” Jackson said before the Lakers played the Celtics Thursday night. “And if that was the way it ended for him, I know he felt that you have to live your life by your gut feeling and do it that way. So I think it was great that he was able to do it on his own terms.” 

Ray Allen, who used to experience Sloan’s hard-nosed defensive style more frequently in the Western Conference, had the same reaction everyone else did upon hearing the news of Sloan’s resignation Thursday. 

“I’m curious why,” Allen said. “I think everyone’s kind of wondering what exactly happened – if he stepped down or they went in another direction. … He’s been a great ambassador for the game.” 

Doc Rivers always knew what he was getting when he stepped onto the floor to play against or coach against a team coached by Sloan.

“They were going to play hard,” Rivers said. “They were going to cut. They were going to pick-and-roll you to death. They were going to foul you hard. You had to play defense for 24 seconds. And they were going to milk every possession until they got the shot they wanted.” 

Jackson, whose Bulls twice defeated Sloan’s Jazz for NBA titles, said Sloan’s lack of a championship “shouldn’t diminish his career.” 

“But really, you hate to see a guy go out without having won a champ with all the great teams he’s had,” Jackson said. “… I think coaching 23 years probably is an energy thing. It takes a lot of energy and there’s a time when you feel like you just can’t put anything more into a team.”
Posted on: February 8, 2011 1:31 pm
 

Reggie Miller sticks up for small markets

As the superstar exodus to greener pastures and glitzier cities continues in the NBA, Reggie Miller rode to the rescue of the small market Tuesday. 

In TNT's pre-All-Star conference call, Miller said a franchise tag to curb player movement will be "tough" to implement in collective bargaining. But if that's what it takes to keep stars in small markets -- Miller played his entire 18-year career in Indiana -- he's all for it. 

"I was disappointed when LeBron left and went to Miami," Miller said. "I'm not faulting him, because obviously this is America and people change jobs and occupations and locations all the time. But for a guy that's been in a small market for 18 years, I just love when stars and superstars -- and you had the biggest superstars in our league in terms of name recognition in LeBron in a small market -- I didn’t think overall that helps the brand. Therefore, I hope Deron Williams stays in Utah and Chris Paul stays in New Orleans. It's good to have superstars in smaller markets because it helps the brand." 

Fellow Turner Sports broadcaster Kevin McHale, who famously traded Kevin Garnett from Minnesota to Boston in 2007, called the franchise tag an "interesting concept." Depending on how it's implemented, a franchise tag would either give teams cap relief to help them retain a star player, further restrict star players' movement, or both. 

"There's something to that," McHale said. "It gives the team that drafts a guy and develops a guy more of an opportunity to hold onto the player. I agree having the talent distributed throughout the whole NBA is much better for the game as whole. If you win, they'll want to play in different cities, no matter if it's Oklahoma City or New York City. If you're winning, they're going to want to go there and be part of it." 

Whether the owners can get such an onerous request past the union without a fight? Good luck. 

"They're going to have to get the players' association to buy into that," McHale said. 

The prospect of a franchise tag in a new CBA plays directly into the future of Carmelo Anthony, who is seeking a trade yet is concerned about losing money by passing on a three-year, $65 million extension that could be less lucrative in the new labor agreement. If the Nuggets decide to keep Anthony, part of their motivation would be having solid knowledge that they'd be in a position to retain Anthony with a franchise tag after the new deal is ratified. Anthony's countermove, obviously, would simply be to opt out of his $18.5 million contract for next season. That game of chess is likely to unfold all the way down to the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
Posted on: February 6, 2011 8:58 pm
 

The artist formerly known as Gilbert Arenas

BOSTON – Gilbert Arenas was once one of the most prolific scorers and entertainers in the NBA. On Sunday, he missed all seven of his shots from the field and all of his explanations in the locker room afterward, too. 

Maybe that’s because the entertainer formerly known as Agent Zero really has zero feel for how he’s supposed to fit in with the Orlando Magic

“I expected to struggle a little bit because I have to learn how everyone plays,” Arenas said after going scoreless in a 91-80 loss to the Celtics. “I’m the point guard. I’ve got to learn where everybody wants the ball, how they move, where they like it, where they dislike it. So I can’t be as aggressive as I want to. I can’t just go down there and play my basketball. That’s not what we do here. 

“I’m so focused on trying to get people the ball that when I do have open shots, it’s like, ‘Oh, open shot,’ and then I shoot it,” Arenas said. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to shoot, if I see somebody, I‘ll pass it.’ When you’re a scorer and you think about scoring, everything comes easy. If you think about any scorer that’s in this league, scoring is so easy. But when you have to make plays, it’s just weird. I catch myself not being aggressive, so when I do turn it on, I don’t have a rhythm.” 

Arenas said he was not affected by the turmoil from two nights ago, when he was served with child-support papers at halftime of a game in Washington against his former team. 

“I don’t actually pay attention to it because I have my lawyers that deal with it,” Arenas said. “… That’s what humans decide to do these days because it is a media world now. They use media to get their points across. I’m not going to go back and forth. My kids have to read this one day.” 

But Arenas did offer an explanation – a peculiar one at that – for his offensive struggles. Aside from adjusting to Stan Van Gundy’s structured offensive style, Arenas also is dealing with pain in his surgically repaired knees – but only in cold weather cities. Arenas asserted that an arthritic condition causes his left knee in particular to stiffen up in cold weather. 

“Cities that are high on the map, I have trouble with,” Arenas said. “Like this city during the winter. But as soon as February shows up – that’s why they call me Mr. February, because I’ll be dunking and jumping around in practice. I’m glad we’re about to have a month basically at home so I can just get my rhythm and be in the warm weather where my knee is going to feel a lot better. It’s like day and night. It’s weird.” 

Asked when it will feel better, Arenas said, “As soon as we land in Orlando. When it’s cold, the coldness swells in my joints and puts moisture in my joints and that’s what makes it stiff. So once I get to a warm city, or any city that has high humidity, I’m fine.” 

The crisis of health and identity that Arenas is enduring couldn’t be playing out at a worse time for the Magic, who fell to 16-10 since the trades with Phoenix and Washington that reshaped their roster. 

“Everyone always talks about the injury, but last year when I was playing I was averaging 22, seven (assists) and four (rebounds),” Arenas said. “And then I missed 50 games.” 

Given the suspension for bringing guns to the Wizards’ locker room last season, on top of the knee issues and the change of system and city, it’s no wonder Arenas is having trouble figuring out who he is. 

“Let’s go back a year ago with everything he went through and then let’s go back a year earlier to where he was and how we beat him down to zero,” Magic GM Otis Smith said. “And then let’s change his job, change his boss and say, ‘OK, now go be the same.’ Could you do it? And at the same time, you’ve got to read about it every day. I’m not sure anybody could do it and come out on the other end.”
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 6, 2011 3:22 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 6:34 pm
 

Celtics' Daniels taken off on stretcher

BOSTON -- Marquis Daniels collapsed to the court and lay motionless for several minutes before being strapped to a stretcher Sunday during the Celtics' game against the Magic.

UPDATE: According to the Celtics, Daniels has a bruised spinal cord but has motion and feeling -- though he is expected to be out at least a month.

Daniels, who has a history of concussions and apparently neck problems, too, was making a sweep move on Gilbert Arenas when his head made what appeared to be minor contact with Arenas' chest. Daniels' head snapped back, and he collapsed to the floor, where he lay motionless and face down as trainer Ed Lacerte attended to him in a hushed TD Garden with several teammates kneeling on the floor around him.

Daniels was placed on a stretcher and signaled thumbs up as he was wheeled off the floor. Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said Daniels suffered a neck injury and was being transported to New England Baptist Hospital for tests. He was conscious and talking on his way to the ambulance, Twiss said.

Our Eye on Basketball blog has video of the incident.

"He just turned and faced and was trying to go fast and then, 'Boom!'" said Arenas, who said Celtics players were telling him as Daniels lay on the floor that he had a history of neck problems. "And he just hit the floor. I heard him hit the floor hard. I thought probably he had a little concussion, because I know Kevin Garnett said, 'Did he hit your knee?' And I said, 'I don’t think so.' And they said he has a neck problem, so sometimes when his neck goes wrong he gets paralyzed a little bit … and then he just bounces back."

Ray Allen said he wasn't aware of any neck problems Daniels had, but equated the injury to a football injury.

"The way he hit the ground, I just started thinking about any time I watched a football game and I saw a guy on the ground -- how their body just kind of didn't respond to anything," Allen said. "... And when I saw his face, it was the scariest feeling because it was almost like he couldn't do anything."


Daniels, 30, a reserve guard averaging 5.6 points per game, sustained a concussion in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Magic last May -- a game in which Glen Davis also suffered a concussion. In Sunday's supremely physical game between the East rivals, Davis also went to the locker room after hitting his head on the court while drawing a charge from Jameer Nelson. Davis suffered a bruised head and returned to the game.

The play on which Daniels was injured actually was one of the more nondescript examples of physical contact Sunday. He went down with 11:01 left in the second quarter and Orlando leading 24-17. Moments later, Dwight Howard and Nelson were assessed technical fouls after a hard foul by Kendrick Perkins.

Posted on: December 17, 2010 11:51 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Wizards, Magic in serious talks about Arenas

The Magic and Wizards are discussing a blockbuster trade that would send Gilbert Arenas to Orlando, a person with knowledge of the talks confirmed to CBSSports.com Friday. 

The person characterized the talks as “serious,” with definite interest on both sides to make the deal happen. 

UPDATE: League sources say a third team is involved, with the Suns possibly contributing Hedo Turkoglu to the equation. The Magic, trying to make a bold move to close the gap with Boston and Miami, would wind up with Arenas and Turkoglu, who would return to the team he led to the NBA Finals before a frustrating year in Toronto. Magic center Marcin Gortat is "100 percent involved," though it's unclear whether the Magic would be sending out Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, or both.

CBSSports.com reported in October that Orlando and Washington discussed an Arenas trade over the summer, but at the time, it was scuttled by financial concerns on the Magic’s part. Orlando has a league-high $94 million payroll, and Arenas -- owned $62 million over the next three seasons -- is coming off two injury-plagued seasons and a 50-game suspension for bringing firearms to the Wizards’ locker room last season. As previously noted, Magic GM Otis Smith has a strong relationship with Arenas and has always been the most likely executive in the league to take another chance on him.

But according to a person familiar with the situation, Smith faces two significant obstacles in bringing Arenas to Orlando. The first is Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who has told friends he is extremely reluctant to add Arenas to the roster. The second, and even more important impediment, is Orlando ownership, which has serious reservations about absorbing Arenas' contract. Arenas has one more year left than Lewis and two more than Carter -- essentially three more with Carter's partial guarantee in 2013-14. Turkoglu's contract could ease some of that pain, as the Turkish star agreed to accept a reduced guarantee in '13-'14 as part of his trade from Toronto to Phoenix.


In the first six weeks of the season, Arenas has quelled some doubts about his health and explosiveness while the Magic, according to sources, have concluded that they need to make a significant trade to justify their payroll. Orlando has lost five of its last six and is looking to significantly upgrade its backcourt. Yahoo! Sports first reported Friday that the Arenas-to-Orlando talks were reignited in recent days. 

“They need to go make a deal,” a person familiar with the Magic’s plans told CBSSports.com. “They’re not in the same class as Boston or Miami With a $94 million payroll, they didn’t do that to get out of the first round. The window has closed up a bit.” 

The motivation is equally strong on the Wizards’ part. Injuries and a young roster built around No. 1 overall pick John Wall -- with Arenas uncomfortably lingering as the team’s former franchise player -- have conspired to produce a 6-18 start. Arenas is said to be eager for a fresh start, and a person familiar with the Wizards’ plans described the parting of Arenas and Wall as “inevitable.” 

“This is John’s team,” the person said. 

The specific pieces involved in the potential trade are still in flux, but it is likely to include the $17 million essentially expiring contract of Vince Carter, who has only $4 million guaranteed next season. If not, smaller contracts could be combined to make the deal work, starting with center Marcin Gortat, who has been the subject of trade talks between Orlando and other teams, including Portland. 

The Magic, according to a person familiar with their plans, are continuing to engage in trade talks with multiple teams with the goal of deciding if adding Arenas -- who, when healthy, would add the missing element of a perimeter player who can create his own shot -- is the best alternative.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 2:35 pm
 

Dec. 15 trade-eligible shopping list

The next milestone in the NBA season hits Wednesday when dozens of players signed as free agents over the summer become trade-eligible. ‘Tis the season for re-gifting. 

Don’t like the aging veteran you overpaid in your giddiness as GM of an undefeated juggernaut shopping for free agents? Dump him on some unsuspecing colleague who may be able to to make better use of his meager talents. Having a reality check about how good your team was going to be? Shed the contract you thought you were wise to execute back in July and start getting ready for another draft lottery. 

Under the collective bargaining agreement, players who sign as free agents cannot be traded for three months or until Dec. 15, whichever is later. So theoretically, any free agent signed prior to Sept. 15 can be shipped to a new destination beginning Wednesday. 

It’s not useful to look at this year’s crop of trade-eligible free agents as a free-for-all, because there are plenty of names on the list who will be traded about as soon as pigs sprout wings. (Forget the LeBron-to-New York trade rumors. I think he’s staying put.) Similarly, the Lakers aren’t trading Derek Fisher, the Celtics aren’t trading Shaquille O’Neal, and the Knicks seem mildly happy with MVP candidate Amar’s Stoudemire so far. 

What the Dec. 15 milestone does is expand the pool of assets and contracts available to GMs to make trades work under league guidelines that require salaries to be no more than 125 percent plus $100,000 when over-the-cap teams make deals. Sometimes, one more asset or another $2 million in tradeable contracts makes all the difference in completing a larger deal. 

Something else to keep in mind: Unless it’s a key player who’d fill a crucial need for a contender, executives say teams will be much less likely to take on multi-year contracts this year due to the expected work stoppage. Buyer’s remorse for Brendan Haywood, for example, isn’t going to be easy to assuage because he’s due $45 million over the next five years – when nobody can accurately predict where such a contract will fit into the new salary structure. But players on shorter deals with less than full guarantees could be moved if it helps complete a bigger deal – such as a Carmelo Anthony trade. 

So with that in mind -- and with the assumption that the Heat aren’t’ trading LeBron, the Hawks aren’t trading Joe Johnson, and the Celtics aren’t trading Paul Pierce or Ray Allen -- here are a few of the more interesting names who become trade-eligible Wednesday, based on the likelihood that they could be involved in a trade sometime before the Feb. 24 deadline: 

* Luke Ridnour, Timberwolves: At $12 million over the next three years, Ridnour won’t break the bank and his play-making abilities could be appealing to a team looking for point-guard depth. The Knicks, underwhelmed by Toney Douglas as Raymond Felton’s backup, are interested. 

* Tony Allen, Grizzlies: Allen’s strengths off the bench are wasted on a team like Memphis, which has plenty of other tradeable assets. If the Grizzlies decide to part with O.J. Mayo, for instance, Allen’s contract could help facilitate the deal. 

* Quentin Richardson, Magic: Nobody gets traded as much as Q-Rich, so he has to be on this list. If Orlando decides to pull the trigger on a significant deal -- say, for Andre Miller or Gilbert Arenas -- Richardson could be a throw-in. Complicating matters is the fact that his contract contains a 15 percent trade kicker, but that’s manageble since he’s only due $8 million over the next three years. 

* Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams, Nuggets: Denver is virtually assured of making a big deal for You-Know-Who, in my opinion, and these could be throw-in pieces. I’d include Al Harrington, but A) they’ll need someone to shoot a lot after they trade Melo; and B) nobody will want Big Al for five years at the full mid-level when we’re entering what could be the no-mid-level world of a new CBA. (Even though the last two years are only half-guaranteed.) 

* Anthony Tolliver, Timberwolves: Minnesota already has been fielding a lot of calls because they have draft picks, cap space, and young assets. Though injured at the moment, Tolliver is big and cheap and could be part of a bigger deal. 

* Josh Howard, Wizards: On a one-year deal, Howard has the right to veto any trade. But if he gets back on the court and proves he’s healthy before the deadline, his expiring $3 million contract could be used to sweeten a potential Arenas deal. 

* Chris Duhon and Jason Williams, Magic: Stan Van Gundy can’t decide which one is his backup point guard, and you know what they say: When you have two backup point guards, what you really have is none. 

* Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow, Nets: New Jersey is highly likely to make multiple trades between now and the deadline, and team officials continue to believe one of them will be for Anthony. With efforts under way to acquire additional assets Denver has requested, dangling either one or both of these names could help accomplish that. Reluctantly, I’ll include Travis Outlaw here, as well. While his five-year, $35 million deal will scare some teams, his salary is flat throughout with no increases -- a friendly feature as we enter the great CBA unknown. 

* Tyrus Thomas and Kwame Brown, Bobcats: When Larry Brown says his team has begun tuning him out, it’s time to start the stopwatch on LB blowing up the roster with trades. When Brown goes into teardown mode, no one is safe -- not even Thomas, who just signed a five-year, $40 million contract. Good luck peddling that deal amid labor uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean Brown won’t try. 

* Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, Rasual Butler and Craig Smith, Clippers: The Clips are ravaged by injuries, underperforming, and owner Donald Sterling is heckling his own players. Who knows what the Clips will do? I do know they have one of the most sought-after first-round picks in the league -- Minnesota’s 2011 pick, which is unprotected in ‘12 -- and will be getting a lot of calls. Butler and Smith can veto any trade since their both on one-year deals. But why would they? 

* Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye, Suns: If Phoenix rapidly falls out of contention, keep an eye on Suns owner Robert Sarver, who is pushing as hard as any owner for a lockout. Warrick’s deal actually is fairly reasonable, with $4.25 million due each of the next two seasons and a team option for the same amount after that. Frye, however, is owed a poisonous $24.8 million over the next for years.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com